100 Generative Images

These days we are inundated with articles, posts, podcasts, talks, and think pieces about the promise and/or peril of generative AI. Economists and politicians worry that so many jobs will be automated away that the economy will collapse. Journalists are sounding the alarm that these technologies will enable disinformation and manipulation at scale and at near zero cost. Educators are struggling to identify which of their students’ term papers were written by robots. Technologists see these tools as powerful amplifiers and accelerators of human creativity that will spark a new renaissance. For a deeper dive, here’s John Oliver’s characteristically informative and hilarious take.

I’m sure we’ll have mixed success avoiding AI’s pitfalls but I’m on Team Optimist. I think these tools have the potential to free us from tedium, amplify our human strengths, revolutionize creative work, and maybe even catalyze the transformation of our socioeconomic systems. If the PC is a bicycle for the mind and the internet it its motorcycle, then maybe, if we get this right, generative AI could be the mind’s jet pack.


This Exercise

When Midjourney first went live, I ran a few experimental image prompts. I was fascinated by this new parlor trick but I wanted to try using it for something more than periodic dabbling. I developed a habit of writing a spontaneous image prompt each morning when I arrive at my desk. The prompts are drawn from current events, poems, people, conversations, dreams, books, songs, films, and absurd ideas from who knows where. The only common thread is that they were plucked from the musings that accompanied my morning coffee. This collection also serves as a snapshot of what these tools were capable of in early/mid 2023. I fully expect these images will appear quaint and antiquated by years’ end as AI’s explosive (r)evolution gathers steam.


  • Generative AI, Concepting, Experimentation